The Note

The Boston Globe 's Scot Lehigh writes about Clark's conflicting answers on supporting the war and reports that on the day Congress passed the Iraq resolution, Clark's thinking was:

"Use force only as a last resort. When you use it, use it decisively against a very clear objective. Limit your objective as much as possible to obtain your strategic aim." LINK

For his part, Slate's Saletan wonders why Clark is the new Kerry, and why, when Clark and Kerry share a penchant for having it all ways, does only Kerry take the heat for it? LINK

"Add it up. Like Kerry, Clark supported the resolution authorizing the use of force. Like Kerry, he says his purpose in doing so was to provide leverage for a U.N. solution and thereby avoid war. Like Kerry, he would have trusted the president. Like Kerry, he says Bush misled the country. Like Kerry, he says Bush rushed to war. But everywhere you look, people are talking about Clark as the man of steel who can lead the Democrats."

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports: LINK

-- Little Rock native, Rhodes scholar, and Clinton Administration veteran William Halter is briefing Clark on economic issues.

-- Clark refused to rule out support for vouchers speaking at DePauw University yesterday (Note that, Diamond Jim.).

-- Egypt, Syria and Iran must be at the table for a Middle East peace deal. -- The General himself said there is "some crossover" between his supporters and the Good Governor's …

Clark's fellow military man, retired General H. Hugh Shelton, came out strong against The General earlier this month, raising the character issue at the same time. (We are preparing our inboxes to see this quote again … A LOT.)

Said Shelton, speaking at the Foothill College Celebrity Forum:

"I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote." LINK

From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

"On Today this morning, General Wesley Clark admitted that if he has learned anything in this short period as presidential candidate, it is that he should not answer 'hypothetical questions.'"

"In light of his flip-flop on the Iraq war resolution, he again tried to clarify his position, saying he would have gone to the American people for their thoughts, and ultimately, he would not have gone to war with Iraq."

"Clark was self-assured throughout the interview --'The truth is I have an awful amount of experience in international politics,' he said at one point, defending the criticism that he's not ready for primetime. He also responded to the polls, saying, 'I'm not surprised.'"

"General Clark also used this forum to deny rumors that he's 'Clinton's candidate:' 'No, I'm the people's candidate … I was drafted.'"

The AP's Calvin Woodward has an in-depth look at Clark's vacillating comments as a CNN military analyst, including this item which may prove troublesome for The General's political team: "Clark at times heaped praise on Bush and his team for skillfully handling the Iraqi operation — even so far as to say the president should be proud for forging ahead despite the naysaying." LINK

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